There is something uniquely wonderful about friends you’ve known for 80-100% of your life. I’m lucky enough to have several such friends, but today I’m going to tell you about Robert.
I’ll also tell you about the Chilli con Kangaroo-Carne Soup I made when Robert came over for dinner, but first I’ll explain why it makes me smile to have this fellow in my life.
Robert and I went through primary school, high school, college, and university together. In fact, we were in almost all the same classes throughout primary school and high school, which means we’ve racked up a goodly amount of shared memories. For example:
1. Robert saw me swan around as an incredibly bossy year six student determined to write and perform in various plays and musicals for school assemblies (I’m particularly proud of my musical about recycling), but he also saw me turn into a bit of a sadface hermit during years 11 and 12.
2. He forgave me for the time I pulled a chair out from under him as a joke, causing him to crack his head spectacularly hard on the wooden seat that was suddenly behind rather than under him.
3. I forgave him for the time I approached him and his new friends in year seven, and he told me to go away. (I’ll let you forget about that one eventually, Robert.)
4. In a moment of pure modesty in year two, Robert and I (along with my other friend in the photo above) formed a club called “The Smarties”. We told people the name referred to the chocolate lollies. That was only half-true.
5. He makes me laugh.
6. I think he’s awesome.
7. We both like to travel.
9. In year 10 I played Robert’s scorned lover in Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, and I had to slap him with a glove during the final scene. I felt so guilty about doing so that I over-compensated, and ending up hitting him incredibly hard. I’m sorry, Robert.
10. He likes my cooking. A thousand points towards life for that one.
11. I think I’ll stop now. Otherwise, this will go on forever, and I’ve got a gospel performance to get ready for.
Chilli con Kangaroo-Carne Soup
Serves 2 (easily doubled)
Adapted from this Taco Soup recipe at Kalyn’s Kitchen
- 1 tb olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 300g kangaroo mince
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup water, and more as needed
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 400g can mixed beans, drained
- 1 tb dried oregano
- 1 tb ground cumin
- 1 tb Mexican chilli powder
- dash of cayenne
- sour cream and grated cheese to garnish, and/or diced avocado, fresh coriander, and corn chips if you’re fancier than I am.
1. Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened. Tip in the kangaroo mince and cook, breaking up with a spoon or spatula, until browned through.
2.Add the stock, water, tomatoes, beans, oregano, and spices, and stir to combine. Bring the soup to the boil and then reduce heat, cover, and keep at a low simmer. The original recipe says to simmer for 45 minutes, but mine ended up simmering for about an hour and half. I added in a bit more water at the end, but the soup still ended up rather thick. Thick and delicious, I might add.
3. Serve hot with the toppings of your choice, preferably with a bottle of red brought by your long-time super-awesome friend and lots of laughter.